That split again
July 31, 2008
We encourage our Town Supervisor to poll Board members in advance of Town meetings to guaranty full attendance before a vote on the Dover Knolls project. Even if the vote ends up with the now familiar 3-2 split, the concerns of the dissenting minority will be on the record for future reference and constructive debate should lead to better informed decisions. In time, we hope a meeting of the minds leads to the planning and construction of the best project for our Town and our region.
In advance of the meeting referenced in this editorial, Councilman Hawthorne had an unexpected personal conflict and thus delivered a note to the Town Clerk, objecting to the dilutive inclusion of “recreational space” in the 245,000 square feet of commercial space. As a result, a debate ensued and our Town Planner offered to reinstate the 245,000 sq ft with reference to only commercial. Unfortunately and without adequate explanation, our Town Attorney, Thomas Jacobellis, encouraged a vote on the document with the new language, arguing that the DEIS could be changed later. And so the majority voted. With a mere strike of the pen and one last round in the word processor, we would have had a cleaner Final Scope with the definition as it had stood all all along.
The process is on track: there is no need rush to approve a document that does not adequately reflect the Town Board’s and the residents’ understanding of the economics of the project. We now must be doubly diligent to guard against further degradation of the mitigating tax aspects necessary to prevent increased property and school taxes.